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November 6, 1954


Author Affiliations

San Francisco

JAMA. 1954;156(10):931-933. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950100007003

Bronchial asthma and pulmonary emphysema are respiratory diseases of a mechanical nature that are chronic, crippling to the patient, and difficult for the physician to treat. Breathing exercises for these conditions have been known for over 20 years; however, they have been used little and have received little publicity because of the overemphasis on drug therapy. When one considers the physical aspects of these conditions, the need of breathing exercises and the benefit to be derived from them become readily understandable. Since these procedures neither remove the cause nor give emergency assistance, they constitute only a valuable adjunct to the treatment of these diseases. Breathing is the one unconscious necessity of our lives that is under some voluntary control. By suitable training of the muscles involved, the rate, depth, and type of respiration can be altered at will. This is so because the muscles involved are of the striated voluntary

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